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May 11th, 2010, 10:57 PM #1Lawyer Lead Generation
I wanted to know from other affiliates if they know if it's legal to do lead generation for lawyers for certain things: DUI, Bankruptcy, Accidents, etc.
Are there any legal issues regarding lead generation and selling leads to lawyers?
May 12th, 2010, 12:30 AM #2
This is governed by state law, but most (if not all) states have regulations that include the following:
1. In order to be paid for referring clients to attorneys, a business must qualify to be, and register with the state bar association as, a Lawyer Referral Service;
2. The business receives a fee for referring clients, but they generally cannot legally receive a fee for referring specific cases or clients. Rather, they agree to refer "X to Y" number of clients per month, for $XXXXX. The number of clients and the amount of money varies greatly according to the type of case. For example, 8 to 10 accident cases for $10,000, or 15 to 20 DUI cases for $5,000.00 may be the norm in some states;
3. The business cannot receive a portion of or a percentage of a specific fee for referring a specific case. It is illegal for an attorney to pay a portion of a specific fee to a non-attorney for referring the case - that is fee-splitting (or "Capping") which is a felony;
4. Legitimate Lawyer Referral Services have written agreements with the attorneys to whom they refer cases, and those agreements are usually for a term of one year, with fees to be paid monthly;
5. Legitimate Lawyer Referral Services have specific qualification standards for the attorneys to whom they refer cases. For example, to refer motor vehicle accident cases to an attorney, the attorney must be able to establish such things as a) XX years of experience; b) YY motor vehicle cases handled to conclusion; 3) ZZ motor vehicle cases taken to trial; and 4) Proof that the attorney has professional liability insurance.
May 12th, 2010, 02:05 PM #3
Let me add that some states, such as California, have numerous additional requirements for a Lawyer Referral Service, including:
1. The Lawyer Referral Service must apply separately to operate in different counties;
2. The Lawyer Referral Service must have a "Governing Body" of not less than three people, of which at least 50% are active members of the California State Bar;
3. Copies of all advertising materials must be filed with the State Bar; and
4. Many, many more rules.
May 12th, 2010, 07:14 PM #4
Everything AffliiateHound said +1
I have worked in that arena... and I can add that you do not want the State Bar coming after you for "the unauthorized practice of law" or anything related to attorney referral. Can get very nasty for every other business venture. Move carefully.
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